09 Feb Top 10 things for families and friends to do in Townsville
With an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, it always feels like summer in Townsville and this makes it the perfect place to enjoy a break with the family or friends. There’s so much to see and do you’ll be spoilt for choice. Choose from laid-back activities to wildlife experiences, outdoor exploring or culture.
Here’s our list of the top 10 things to do in Townsville:
1 – Enjoy some fish and chips at The Strand esplanade
This beautiful waterfront esplanade area has walkways, the beach, a pool, water playground, parks, jetty and cafes; lots and lots of cafes. There’s also a regular night market with entertainment, handmade crafts and foods to sample. It’s the perfect place to take a walk along and enjoy all that Townsville has to offer before settling in for some take-away fish and chips at one of the many picnic spots.
2 – Splash around The Strand Waterpark
This water park on The Strand is every kids dream and a great place to cool off. It has loads of structures for them to climb, interact with and explore. It even has a massive bucket that holds 1000 litres of water which are dumped on kid’s heads every 5 minutes. There are slides for children of different ages and also water guns to play with. Don’t forget to take a towel!
3 – Go under the sea at Reef HQ
At Reef HQ you can get up close and personal with more than 300 species of Queensland’s beautiful fish, corals and marine life. Currently the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium Reef HQ has daily talks and tours including the ‘Predator Dive show’ where you can talk to a diver whilst they are swimming in a reef wreck tank with sharks and other large fish with big teeth; a special lagoon tank where you can touch a marine creature; or you can take a walk under the waves in the ‘reef tunnel’. With so much to see and do why not spend two or more hours at Reef HQ?
Location: 2-68 Flinders Street, Townsville
4 – Visit Magnetic Island for the day
The jewel in the crown, you can’t go to Townsville without exploring Magnetic Island. You can swim or snorkel in one of the many secluded little bays, take a hike through pristine bushland, see the rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay in the evening, spend some time at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, take a guided tour of the island or go out on a Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel cruise. Magnetic Island is a natural wonderland with beautiful scenery and native flora and fauna. Day trips are available.
5 – Explore the Maritime Museum of Townsville
Thie small Maritime Museum of Townsville is a treasure-trove of artefacts, relics, displays, exhibits, photographs, model ships and other items that tell the history of everything nautical from Townsville’s and North Queensland’s maritime history. Run by volunteers, one of the key exhibits focuses on telling the battle of the Coral Sea story, which was fought in 1942 between the Japanese and the Allied naval forces just 885kms north of Townsville. The museum even has a full-size lighthouse from 1886 that was moved from Bay Rock on Magnetic Island.
Location: 42-68 Palmer Street, Townsville
6 – Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery
Set in a beautiful 1885 colonial building the Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery showcases local artists, and national and international touring exhibitions. The art is spread out over two floors and depending on which artists are on display can include everything from oil and watercolour paintings, pottery and ceramics to sculpture, photography and linocuts. If you time it right you may be able to take in one of the performances or talks that are held with each exhibition. Entry to the Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery is FREE! With an every-changing program don’t forget to check out the gallery’s website.
Location: Corner Flinders and Denham Streets, Townsville
7 – Billabong Sanctuary
Set in beautiful natural surrounds on the banks of a billabong you can experience wildlife in a range of settings at including eucalypt forests, rainforest and wetlands. Located just twenty minutes from Townsville you can get up close to some of Australia’s amazing wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, crocodiles and many more! Visit the Billabong Sanctuary website for more information about these great things to do.
Location: 17km south of Townsville in Nome on the Bruce Highway
8 – Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Museum of Tropical Queensland’s showcases life in tropical Queensland from pre-historic through to modern times. There is something for everyone from loads of ever-changing public events and workshops through to monthly lectures and behind-the-scenes tours. Children can experience what it is like to be in a tropical Queensland rainforest in the ‘Enchanted Forest’ exhibit. One of Townsville signature cultural institutions, the Museum of Tropical Queensland is situated on the Ross Creek.
Location: 70-102 Flinders Street, Townsville
9 – Climb to the top of Castle Hill
Standing majestically on the horizon this pink granite hill is worth visiting. The ‘Hill’ was once used as a vantage point by US soldiers during WWII. The iconic Castle Hill is only a short distance from Townsville is a reasonably easy climb but don’t forget to good footwear. There are 360 degree views from the top of Townsville, Magnetic Island, the Coral Sea and the hinterland from the top so don’t forget to your camera.
10 – Explore The Great Barrier Reef
A trip to Far North Queensland would not be complete without visiting the infamous Great Barrier Reef and experience its myriad of fish, coral and sea life. It’s easy to do snorkelling, diving and sailing trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Townsville or Magnetic Island on a day trip with one of the local charter boat operators.
As the one and only absolute oceanfront accommodation in Townsville, Mariners North Holiday Apartments takes pride of place on The Strand on prestigious Mariners Peninsula – the most exclusive location in Townsville. Every holiday apartment has the most amazing ocean views, private balconies, full-size kitchens, air conditioning and a wide range of onsite facilities. The perfect base for your dream holiday!